wa3.gif (3780 bytes)






September 2005

Previous months' recommendations: July 2004 | August 2004 | September 2004 | October 2004 | November 2004 | December 2004 | January 2005 | February 2005 | March 2005 | April/May 2005 | June 2005 | July 2005 | August 2005 

My rating system explained. Use www.wine-searcher.com to locate a stockist in your area and my directory of UK wine merchants for details of those listed here. See also: the wineanorak's shopping list - recommended wines from each of the main UK retail outlets. These recommendations are truly independent: I don't accept payment or other favours for inclusions, nor do I sell wine.

La Châsse du Pape Syrah 2004 Vin de Pays d’Oc, France
This month the selections are dominated by inexpensive, widely available wines, beginning with two commercial but very appealing offerings from La Châsse du Pape. This deep-coloured red wine won me over with its pure, sweet ripe fruit. There’s a hint of seriousness here from some spicy structure, but it’s the clarity of the fruit that works so well. It’s rare to have this much fun for a fiver. Very good+ 86/100 (£4.99 Sainsbury)

La Chasse du Pape Chardonnay Viognier 2004 Vin de Pays d’Oc
A delcious white wine that shows more character than you might expect for the price. It’s perfumed and soft, with some aromatic peach and melon fruit, kept fresh by a lemony lift. Nice balance here between the soft melony fruit and the tanginess. A fairly serious Rhône-style white. Very good+ 89/100 (£4.99 Sainsbury, Waitrose, Co-op, Asda)

Petit Herlsson Colombard Chardonnay 2004 Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne, France
I'm including this not because it's a fantastic wine, but because it's fantastically cheap. This budget white is a great all-purpose food wine, with bright, razor sharp flavours of lemony, slightly bitter fruit. The zingy acidity means that this is a very fresh wine. Crisp, herby and slightly rustic, but good value. Very good 82/100 (£2.99 Morrisons)

Quinta de Covela Escolha Rosé 2004 Minho, Portugal
Nice deep pink colour. Fresh, slightly sweet herby, strawberry fruit dominates. It is quite concentrated and full with a bit of structure and some herby warmth. Quite a serious grown-up rosé. Very good+ 88/100 (£8.99 Corney & Barrow)

Charles Back Chenin Blanc Viognier 2005 Coastal Region, South Africa
I love this white wine. It’s full of contrasts. On the one hand, it’s quite rich and peachy; on the other, it has a lovely citrus freshness together with some spicy complexity. It’s the white wine equivalent of the kid at school who got straight As and also captained the sports team. Complete and delicious. A stylish rich white wine, displaying confident commercial winemaking. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£7.99 Somerfield, Tesco)

Sainsbury’s Classic Selection Gewürztraminer 2004 Alsace
This is only just slightly off-dry, with the sugar providing weight rather than overt sweetness. It’s nicely perfumed with the classic sweet rose petal and
lychee notes typical of the Gewürztraminer grape. There’s a nice grapey richness here too. A delicious wine with a touch of sweetness to counter spices
effectively. From the Cave de Turckheim. Very good+ 89/100 (Sainsbury £6.99)

The Wolftrap 2004 Western Cape, South Africa
Get a load of this. Made by star South African winery Boukenhoutskloof (no, I can’t pronounce it either), this is an utterly delicious red wine made in a dangerously seductive style. Soft, smooth chocolatey black fruits dominate. There’s a sweet character to the fruit, together with a subtly meaty edge. Very good+ 89/100 (£5.99 Sainsbury, Oddbins)

The Foundry Viognier 2004 Stellenbosch, South Africa
A very exciting new white from South Africa. Striking, pungent nose is complex with herb-tinged peach and pear fruit, with a sweet edge. The palate is soft, concentrated and quite pretty, with lots of interest. A striking style - real personality here. Very good/excelent 93/100 (£11.99 SWIG, Reid Wines, The Cellar Door, Raeburn, Cape Province Wines, Andrew Chapman, Uncorked, Thameside Wines)

E-mail me with your recommendations or suggestions at jamie@wineanorak.co.uk